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Carruthers' Demise, Chapters Twelve and Thirteen (standard:drama, 3077 words) [7/24] show all parts
Author: Brian CrossAdded: Aug 27 2011Views/Reads: 1109/728Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Carruthers' wife has gone missing in the New Forest, and he's desperately trying to track her down.

Chapter Twelve 

Carruthers spent a miserable afternoon in the hotel bar, more populated
than he'd hitherto seen it on account of the adverse weather. His 
intentions of returning to the Forest and tracking down Foulkes 
thwarted by the conditions, he was running things through his mind for 
the umpteenth time and getting nowhere when a hotel porter came in, 
laying the local afternoon paper on a table opposite. Its headline 
immediately caught his eye: “Leading writer disappears in Forest 

Carruthers got to his feet, taking the paper in his hands as calmly as
he was able. Unfolding it he took in the smaller print beneath the main 
headline, getting hotter as he read, “Local police are not regarding 
Mrs. Carruthers disappearance as suspicious, believing it to be of 
domestic origin.” 

To hell it was domestic origin, but that thought drew his mind to her
diary, because if Chelsey had returned for it, then forming any other 
conclusion was going to be difficult. It struck Carruthers that he 
hadn't checked with reception; somebody might just recall giving her a 
spare key. 

However, a trip to the reception desk proved negative and left
Carruthers wondering just who had taken Chelsey's diary, and why. It 
was a development that needed reporting to the police considering their 
insistence that Chelsey's disappearance had been of domestic origin. 

He needed some fresh air and stepped out of the foyer to find the
humidity had subsided a little. The rain had ceased apart from the 
occasional spot and pockets of brightness were showing through the 
heavy cloud. After leaving a message on Sergeant Higginbotham's phone 
concerning Chelsey's missing diary, Carruthers chanced a walk along 
Lyndhurst's main street, painfully aware that twenty four hours had 
passed since her disappearance. Twenty four hours that had seemed an 

He turned right at the foot of the hill, crossing over a cattle grid to
find himself in a wide expanse of country park. He wandered for a while 
without rhyme or reason, following a hilly trail between bracken and 
heather which led loosely in the direction of Beaulieu, before aware of 
the growing weariness in his legs he diverted onto a sandy track 
winding down to meet the Beaulieu road. From there he followed the road 
back to its junction with Lyndhurst High Street, noticing to his right 
a green mound, on top of which stood a bench in the shade of a huge yew 

It was a steep climb for Carruthers' ailing legs, and resting his back
against the bench he drifted into an unpleasant slumber, vaguely aware 
of the wind rustling the yew's branches, and then of something more 
tangible – his mobile jarring him back to life in what was now 
approaching twilight. 

‘Marty, it's Casey, where are you?' 

‘Still in Lyndhurst,' Carruthers answered tiredly. 

‘Still no sign of Chelsey?' 

‘No...' he trailed off, searching his pockets for his cigarettes. 

‘I heard there was some kind of incident last night.' 

‘Yeah...' Carruthers didn't want to be reminded of it, ‘you could say

‘Marty, I'm coming down.' 

Carruthers gripped his brow, what he wanted now was a good sleep, not
his brain spinning in a late evening conversation with Casey – 

‘Casey it's late...' 

‘I'm halfway there. I anticipated you'd have returned to Lyndhurst. I'm
so worried...' 

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This is part 7 of a total of 24 parts.
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